Unlock your career potential with the PGA Top-up Degree

Unlock your career potential with the PGA Top-up Degree


Since 2021, The PGA Top-up Degree offers the chance for PGA Trainees or Members who have gained the FdSc qualification to continue their studies by working towards a full degree or Honours degree. 

The same applies to anyone who has completed the DipHE course with the university of the Highlands and Islands.

The PGA also recognises that many Members became qualified prior to the introduction of the Foundation degree in 2004. Current PGA Members also have the opportunity to gain a degree (with the option to continue towards an honours degree) with UHI, who will recognise the previous work experience of Members who do not have the Foundation Degree or DipHE qualifications.

Each year, approximately 25 places are available and so it’s important to register your interest as soon as possible, to give yourself the best opportunity to obtain a place on the course.

The Top-up Degree consists of two years’ part-time distance learning. Like the Foundation Degree, the part-time aspect of both degrees has allowed students and members to continue their day-to-day occupations, whilst gaining their qualifications. Those who are eligible to study with UHI can then opt to continue their studies for a further two years, gaining a full BA (Hons) Degree.

This degree provides advanced knowledge and skills in key areas such as business management, sports science, and coaching, tailored specifically to the needs of golf professionals.

By completing the Top-up Degree, PGA Members can differentiate themselves in the job market, demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning and professional development. Moreover, the degree can open doors to higher-level positions within golf clubs, academies, and management roles, as well as provide the expertise needed to start their own golf-related ventures.

Ultimately, the PGA Top-up Degree equips members with the comprehensive education necessary to excel and lead in the golf industry.

One of our recent graduates, Ethan Rockley is an advocate for the Top-up and believes PGA Members with a Foundation Degree should definitely look to take the next challenge and study for their BSc.

Ethan said: “I completed the foundation degree and and then Simon Hubbard and Dr Paul Wiseman said we’d be the first cohort to do the Top-up Degree, would we like to? 

"We started with quite a small group, which was nice. All the mentoring meant that any questions we had were answered straight away. All the help was there, which was great."

What was the best part about the Top-up Degree?

“The balance of it was probably the best part. With it all being online, whether you’re coaching, playing or in the shop, its really simple because it’s all online. You can do it at work, with your bosses’ support as well.

"You have quite a few people around you supporting you. So, you definitely get the flexibility with it."

If working abroad is something that entices you, the Top-up Degree can play a huge part in succeeding with both job applications but the processing of visas too. With the competitive nature of the industry, not only in the UK but also overseas, a full BSc degree could be the defining aspect between yourself and another candidate.

"If you are looking at going abroad, then they are now asking for your BSc, to get jobs over there and more so, to stand out. Everyone passes with the Foundation Degree, so if you can top it up to that BSc level, it just opens more doors for you.

It’s definitely worth it from a ‘stand-out’ point of view, so definitely try and get yourself on it. It’s two years, its hard work, but with the support around you, it’s definitely going to help you in the long run, especially if you’re looking at different jobs and different paths.”

It’s a great feeling, so just to have it on your CV is a great achievement and something I’m really happy with.


The Top-up degree has already seen so many students undergo additional part-time studies to gain the next level of education and knowledge. The two-year online course allows for the perfect balance of work and education, with the support of mentors around you.

The deadline to apply for the next Top-up course is August 31st. If you would like to register your interest, you can do so by clicking here.


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